Canadian Guidelines for Fieldwork Education in
Occupational Therapy (CGFEOT)
Guiding Principles, Responsibilities
and Continuous Quality Improvement Process
Prepared by the:
Committee on University Fieldwork Education/Comité Universitaire de
l’Enseignement Clinique (CUFE/CUEC) of the Association of Canadian
Occupational Therapy University Programs/ Association canadienne des
programmes universitaires en ergothérapie (ACOTUP/ACPUE)
Approved by UFCC, ACOTUP and CAOT
Summer 2003,
Revised –summer 2005
Revised 2011
Table of Contents
A Vision for Canadian Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Education .....................................2
Section 1: Principles Guiding the Canadian Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Experience .....4
Section 2: Responsibilities of Fieldwork Education Partners ...............................................5
Section 3: Tools and Processes to Support Quality in Canadian University Occupational
Therapy Fieldwork Education ..........................................................................................8
Appendix A: Fieldwork site agreement........................................................................... 10
Appendix B: Fieldwork site profile ................................................................................. 12
Appendix C: Student site evaluation form ......................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
Appendix D: Preceptor experience evaluation form………………………………………………………22
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A Vision for Canadian Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Education
The Committee on University Fieldwork Education (CUFE) of the Association of
Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs (ACOTUP) has reviewed the
national guidelines for fieldwork education in response to a number of developments.
Feedback from fieldwork partners, shifts in health care environments, changes in
occupational therapy practice, and the new profile and core competencies of practice
have highlighted the need to update the Canadian Guidelines for Fieldwork Education in
Occupational Therapy (CGFEOT) and reduce administrative procedures while
continuing to promote excellence in fieldwork education.
Quality improvement is a systems process whereby identified critical indicators can be
measured and monitored. The documentation process proposed in the CGFEOT aims
to monitor the numerous activities which have been deemed essential to the support
and development of a quality experience for all stakeholders in occupational therapy
fieldwork education. The 2011 revised version of the CGFEOT is intended to guide
fieldwork partners in developing an effective environment for learning, together with
fieldwork education resources and student learning opportunities. In addition, the
CGFEOT will guide universities in determining appropriate fieldwork education
experiences that enable students to integrate academic and fieldwork learning
throughout their professional development.
In updating the CGFEOT, CUFE members aim to implement a process which promotes
quality and accountability and reflects current best practice in fieldwork education. The
guidelines have incorporated input from a variety of sources: consultation with fieldwork
partners on the challenges and benefits of providing fieldwork education, a visioning
experience by university fieldwork coordinators to identify factors for effective
management of fieldwork education, and a review of national and international
documents. CUFE acknowledges the commitment of its fieldwork partners (fieldwork
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sites, fieldwork educators, on-site fieldwork coordinators, and other team members) in
continuing to support a high quality fieldwork education program.
Section 1 of the guidelines includes principles to promote optimum fieldwork education.
Section 2 presents the responsibilities of fieldwork education partners: students,
preceptors and university programs. Finally, section 3 proposes tools and processes for
supporting quality in fieldwork education.
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Section 1: Principles Guiding the Canadian Occupational Therapy
Fieldwork Experience
These guidelines are intended to ensure that each Canadian occupational therapy
fieldwork experience provides excellent learning opportunities and resources and an
optimum environment for learning. Students acquire abilities and professional behaviors
as well as new knowledge while engaged in fieldwork education. Students, preceptors,
onsite fieldwork coordinators, university professors and university fieldwork coordinators
are expected to collaborate in linking fieldwork experiences to what students have
learned in class. Therefore, it is important to share a common vision for fieldwork
education.
The fieldwork experience should:

Be a collaborative learning experience among students, clients, fieldwork
educators, onsite fieldwork coordinators and university programs;

Be mutually beneficial to students and fieldwork educators;

Be accepted as an essential part of professional growth for both students and
fieldwork educators and fieldwork site;

Occur in a positive learning environment;

Consider the teaching methods and learning styles of both students and
fieldwork educators;

Consider students’ learning objectives in relation to their professional
development within the context of the fieldwork environment;

Support students to account for their learning;

Enable students to link theory with practice;

Enable students to take an active role within the site;

Promote satisfaction for both students and fieldwork educators regarding the
fieldwork experience;

Occur anywhere the roles and functions of an occupational therapist can be
developed and integrated.
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Section 2: Responsibilities of Fieldwork Education Partners
Students are expected to:

Take responsibility for their learning experience and the direction of that
experience in partnership with fieldwork educators, onsite fieldwork
coordinators, university professors and university fieldwork coordinators;

Set personal and professional goals before the beginning of the fieldwork
experience. Review and adjust them throughout the placement;

Do preparatory readings before and during the fieldwork experience;

Uphold legal standards and the Codes of Ethics at all times (CAOT,
professional regulatory body, fieldwork site, university program);

Comply with site and university policies and procedures;

Increase their understanding of and respect the roles and functions of other
team members;

Develop competencies for the application of the occupational therapy
process;

Increase their understanding of the systems in which occupational therapists
practice;

Learn how occupational therapists contribute to the service delivery team;

Increase their understanding of and promote the roles and functions of
occupational therapists;

Develop confidence and competence in their practice of occupational therapy;

Communicate with the university fieldwork professor/ coordinator any time
during their fieldwork experience if they encounter challenges in developing
their competency profile;

Provide feedback to fieldwork educator based on their fieldwork learning
experience.

Provide feedback and an evaluation of their fieldwork experience to their
university fieldwork professor/ coordinator following each placement;
Preceptors are expected to:

Act as role models for students;

Become familiar with the university fieldwork education program (learning
objectives, educational tools, fieldwork evaluation tool, expected student
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performance in accordance with placement level) and with the supervision
process;

Offer a welcoming environment, a comprehensive orientation and provide
space for student use, as available within the site’s resources;

Clearly inform students of what is expected of them, appropriately grade
responsibilities and expectations and be available to students to offer
appropriate supervision;

Offer regular and timely feedback based on student performance, including
recommendations for improvement;

Offer a positive and comprehensive learning environment to enable student
development within the core competencies required for occupational therapy
practice;

Assist students to develop a good understanding of their “professional
growth” with respect to core competencies as described in the Profile of
Occupational Therapy Practice in Canada (2007) by allowing and promoting
time for guided reflection;

Meet with students to discuss and evaluate their performance at the mid-term
and end of the fieldwork education experience;

Communicate with the university fieldwork professor/coordinator at any time
during the placement if the student encounters significant challenges;

Provide to university fieldwork coordinator a current fieldwork site profile
describing learning opportunities and resources;

Provide feedback by completing a questionnaire with respect to their
experience as fieldwork educator (student preparedness, impact of the
supervisory experience, administrative support availability, evaluation of
pedagogical needs, etc.) and submit it to the university fieldwork coordinator.
University fieldwork education professors/coordinators are expected to:

Assist students to develop a good understanding of their “professional
growth” with respect to core competencies as described in the Profile of
Occupational Therapy Practice in Canada (2007) by offering fieldwork
preparation (e.g. orientation and resources) and debriefing sessions (e.g.
integration of theory with practice) to students;

Provide fieldwork educators with orientation and educational resources
related to the university academic and fieldwork education programs and the
supervision process;

Coordinate offers and requests for placements and whenever possible match
students and sites according to students’ academic and fieldwork profiles and
interests;
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
Ensure students make suitable choices with regard to establishing a varied
fieldwork education profile (clienteles and fieldwork settings);

Offer ongoing support and problem solving to students and fieldwork
educators in dealing with student learning challenges;

Recognize fieldwork partners who contribute time and expertise in
supervising students;

Provide sites with a fieldwork agreement, either temporary or long term,
describing the liability and responsibilities of each party;

Ensure students are provided with appropriate liability coverage and work site
insurance;

Regularly assess the content and quality of supervision given and provide
recommendations to fieldwork sites and feedback to fieldwork educators.

Regularly assess the content and quality of the environment in which the
placement occurs to ensure appropriate resources are available and provide
recommendations to fieldwork sites.
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Section 3: Tools and Processes to Support Quality in Canadian
University Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Education
To support the quality of Canadian occupational therapy fieldwork education, the
following tools and processes are recommended:
1. The university fieldwork professor / coordinator will ensure that any site used for
occupational therapy student fieldwork education has read Section 1 and 2 of this
document. An example of a fieldwork site agreement form is outlined in appendix
A and may be used for this purpose if the university so chooses.
2. The university fieldwork professor / coordinator will provide each site with a
fieldwork site profile to complete. The aim of this profile is to provide important
information to the university which enables an understanding of the student
learning experience within the site. In light of this intent, the fieldwork site profile
is completed by the site representative after consultation with administrators,
program managers, professional coordinators, fieldwork educators and all
persons involved in the fieldwork education experience. This document will be
requested within a reasonable timeframe as determined by both the site contact
person and the university fieldwork coordinator. The following list describes
information to be provided:

Site and contact information

Characteristics of occupational therapy services

Learning opportunities and resources

Administrative resources

Site requirements for students

Amenities
The UBC fieldwork site profile form is outlined in appendix B and should be
completed and returned to [email protected]
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Following each fieldwork placement, students should complete a fieldwork site
evaluation form. The aim of this evaluation process is to gain an understanding of
how the student’s learning experience at the site contributed to his or her
professional development. The UBC student fieldwork site evaluation form is
outlined in appendix C.
Considering the important formative role assumed by preceptors, universities
must support preceptor professional development as related to fieldwork
education. It is strongly recommended that the university fieldwork education
professor / coordinator collect and analyze preceptor feedback pertaining to
quality and availability of university support for fieldwork education including
preparedness of students for their fieldwork experience. For this reason, the aim
of this process is two-fold. First, to gain an understanding of the preceptors
needs and offer university based support. Second, to contribute to upgrading
curricular content in accordance with the evolving nature of occupational therapy
practice. This form is outlined in appendix D
3. On a regular basis (to be determined by the university), the university fieldwork
coordinator will review the documents pertaining to particular fieldwork sites: the
fieldwork site profile, the relevant student fieldwork site evaluation forms, and the
relevant preceptor experience evaluations. The university fieldwork education
coordinator will compile and analyze the available information and share a
summary with the fieldwork site contact person. It is recommended that the
university fieldwork coordinator will provide this feedback to the site at least once
every 5 years.
4. If issues with a fieldwork site arise, the university fieldwork education professor /
coordinator, in conjunction with the fieldwork site contact person, will propose a
plan for improving or optimizing the student learning opportunities. When such a
plan is put forth, a timeframe will be set regarding improvements to be made to
ensure the future quality of the fieldwork education experience for students.
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Depending upon specific needs and programs developed, it is anticipated that each
university will be responsible for designing and implementing additional quality
improvement measures that are deemed appropriate for their region.
Appendix A: Fieldwork site agreement
Please complete and send to [email protected]
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Fieldwork Site Agreement
Site Name:
Name of person responsible for occupational therapy student fieldwork coordination and
signing on behalf of the organization:
Title of person named above:
University name:
Name of university fieldwork education coordinator(s):
Declaration of Site Representative
I have read and am in agreement with Section 1 of this document, ‘A Vision for
Canadian Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Education
I have read and am in agreement with Section 2 of this document, ‘Principles
Guiding the Canadian Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Experience
I understand that occupational therapists at this site acting as preceptors for
occupational therapy students will have at least one year of experience as a
practicing occupational therapist, as per the Canadian Association of
Occupational Therapy recommendations.
NAME:
Date:
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Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs
(ACOTUP)
University fieldwork education coordinators require information about fieldwork
education sites regarding opportunities and resources for student learning. The main
goal of requesting a fieldwork site profile is to describe the learning environment in
which the student will evolve. The fieldwork site profile or other similar universityspecific documents will assist the university fieldwork coordinator and students in
making informed decisions about placement selection in order to balance student
fieldwork profile as well as meeting their learning needs. Furthermore, information
gathered on this form will also be used for the partnership renewal process, by
university fieldwork coordinators.
Hence, information available in the fieldwork site profile contributes to promoting
excellence in fieldwork education among partners as well as to fulfilling the Canadian
Association
of
Occupational
Therapists
(CAOT)
requirements
for
Academic
Accreditation.
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Appendix B: Fieldwork site profile
Please complete and send to [email protected]
University of British Columbia
Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
SITE PROFILE FOR FIELDWORK
The following information assists the University Fieldwork Co-ordinator when assigning students. It also provides
students with the necessary guidelines for the preparation and planning of their clinical experience in your facility.
A. SITE AND ADMINISTRATION
1.
Date:
Name of Facility:
Address:
2.
3.
Person who administers O.T. Services:
Title:
Telephone #:
Extension:
Fax #:
E-mail address:
Persons responsible for fieldwork education in particular programs:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
4.
Name:
Name:
Title:
Telephone #:
Extension:
Fax #:
E-mail address:
Name:
Title:
Telephone #:
Extension:
Fax #:
E-mail address:
Name:
Title:
Telephone #:
Extension:
Fax #:
E-mail address:
Name:
Title:
Telephone #:
Extension:
Fax #:
E-mail address:
Person to whom all clinical correspondence should be directed:
Name:
Title:
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5.
First day student reports to:
Name:
Title:
Place:
Time:
6.
Regular working hours are:
7.
Can the student email his/her letter of introduction?
Yes
No
Can the student expect a reply to his/her letter of introduction?
Yes
No
If yes, the reply will be by:
a.m. to
p.m.
(choose selection from drop down box)
8.
Should the student visit your facility before their placement
9.
Dress Code:
10. Is a car required?
If yes, full time
Yes
E-mail
Yes
No
No
or part time
11. Other requirements: (NOTE: Students are required to do criminal record checks & have current First Aid and
CPR)
Please State:
B. SERVICE
Please name the occupational therapy services provided in your site under the column labeled "SERVICE".
For each service you have named please fill in the adjacent columns to indicate:
a) age range of clients in that service area,
b) whether it is at an acute, rehab, or long term care level of service,
c) the environment of the OT service,
d) the number of occupational therapists assigned to that service, and
e) the number of support personnel assigned to that service.
SERVICE
AGE RANGE
(state program areas; OF CLIENTS
i.e. mental health,
physical
(years)
dysfunction)
CONTINUUM
OF CARE
ENVIRONMENT
(i.e. hospital, day
care, community,
(i.e. acute, rehab, school, home)
LTC)
NUMBER OF
OTS ASSIGNED
TO SERVICE
(part or full time)
NUMBER OF
SUPPORT
PERSONNEL
(part or full time)
1
2
3
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4
5
C. LEARNING EXPERIENCE
1.
2.
Other Learning Opportunities Available:

Supervision (i.e. of support personnel)
Yes
No

Teaching (other than instruction of patients)
Yes
No

Administration
Yes
No

Research
Yes
No

Professional Growth (in service/education sessions)
Yes
No

Inter-departmental Meetings (rounds, conferences)
Yes
No

Consultation (inter-disciplinary, family, community agencies)
Yes
No

Program Design/Development
Yes
No

Other:
Student Preparation:
If you require students to review specific references prior to the placement, list below or attach these references:
D. SUPPORT SERVICES
1.
Library facilities available:
Yes
No
2.
Accommodation:
Male: Yes
No
Female: Yes
(If yes, please attach details related to contact person, type of accommodation, costs, etc.)
No
3.
Meals:
No
(available at facility)
Yes
E. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Please attach pertinent documents and/or descriptions to expand on any of the above sections or to include
essential information that is not asked above.
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Appendix C: Student site evaluation form
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
DEPARTMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
STUDENT EVALUATION OF FIELDWORK EXPERIENCE
The purpose of this evaluation is to facilitate and organize communication between the student and
supervisor at the midterm and end point of the fieldwork experience, as well as provide the university
program with the students' perspective about the placement.
FACILITY:
SUPERVISOR'S NAME:
STUDENT'S NAME:
START
DATE:
STUDENT'S LEVEL:
END DATE:
Check the boxes that describe your fieldwork experience.
acute
physical dysfunction
hospital-based
urban
rehab
mental health
community-based
rural
long term
combined
day centre-based
other:
State
Indicate age span of clients:
ORIENTATION
Midter MIDTERM
Were you oriented to the following:
Y
N
FINAL
N/A
Y
N
a) physical layout (including: library, cafeteria)
b) philosophy and mandate of the facility, general policies (ex: emergency
procedrues)
c) the staff, other team members
d) physical layout (including: supplies, equipment …)
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N/A
e) departmental policies & procedures (ex: charting, home visit,
reservations, other …)
Comments:
LEARNING EXPECTATIONS, GOALS & OBJECTIVES
Midter MIDTERM
Y
N
FINAL
N/A
Y
N
N/A
a) Were learning objectives clearly stated at the beginning of placement?
b) Were learning objectives negotiated based on resources and your
previous experience?
Comments:
SUPERVISION
Midter MIDTERM
Did the supervisor:
Y
N
FINAL
N/A
Y
N
a) communicate in an effective manner despite possible differences in
communication style?
b) provide you with timely and appropriate feedback (both positive and
negative) in a constructive and appropriately discrete manner?
c) serve as role model or mentor?
d) use effective demonstration and teaching skills?
e) consistently clarify expectations?
f) make themselves available and accessible to questions?
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N/A
g) encourage you to develop self-directed learning skills?
h) encourage you to critically evaluate your own performance?
Comments regarding the supervision process:
Suggestions to further your learning experience through the second half of this placement:
WAS THERE OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE?
Midter MIDTERM
FINAL
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Y
N
N/A
Y
N
N/A
a) interviews
b) assessments, tests, measures
c) develop problem/asset lists
d) plan intervention, target outcomes
e) implement intervention plans/therapeutic modalities
f) documentation
g) evaluation of effects of intervention/outcome
h) from a client-centred model of practice
i) opportunity to exchange with members of the team,
department or program and with other students
j) opportunity to participate in various meetings:
- in-services, visits to other department
- unit or program meetings
- case discussions
Comments:
FINAL
LEARNING EXPECTATIONS, GOALS & OBJECTIVES
Y
N
a) Was progress towards achieving objectives discussed & re-evaluated regularly?
b) Do you feel you achieved your learning goals and objectives?
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N/A
Comments:
What were the most positive aspects of this placement?
If you could do this placement again, what would you suggest could be done differently?
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Do you have any additional comments?
Signature:
Student
Therapist
Date
Copies to:
Student
Site/program
UBC (with student evaluation)
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Appendix D: Preceptor experience evaluation form
THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Fieldwork Experience
FEEDBACK
This form provides a venue for clinical sites and fieldwork educators to give confidential feedback to
UBC about the Fieldwork Education Program overall. Issues which are student-specific should not be
reported on this form, but should be recorded on the CBFE-OT evaluation form and/or discussed directly
with the OT Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFC).
Site Name:
Department:
Date of Placement:
Placement Level (1/2/3):
Fieldwork Educator Name(s):
ORGANIZATION OF THE PLACEMENT
Yes
No
1. Was your site given sufficient notice that a student was being assigned?
2. (If applicable) was your site given sufficient notice that no student was being assigned?
3. Was your package and pre-placement information complete, accurate, and received in a
timely manner?
4. Were your questions about the placement responded to in a helpful, collaborative, and
timely manner by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator or assistant?
5. Were instructions for forms and procedures clear?
Comments about organization of the placement:
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N/A
COMMUNICATION
Yes
No
N/A
Yes
No
N/A
6. Did you receive helpful and timely support in dealing with student (or other) issues?
7. Did you access any information on the Fieldwork Education section of the department
website? (www.osot.ubc.ca)
If yes, was it helpful?
Do you have any suggestions for content you’d like to see included in our section?
8. Do you receive The Field Notes newsletter (UBC OT Fieldwork Education newsletter)?
If no, and you would like to be added to our em-mail distribution list (~2-3 times per
year), please provide your email address here:
STUDENT PREPARATION
9. Did you feel the student(s) were well prepared for their level of placement?
(Please keep in mind theoretical knowledge related to clinical skills specific to your site
or area may not have been covered prior to placement.)
Comments about student preparation:
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10. Are student expectations of their clinical education experience reasonable?
If no, please explain:
GENERAL COMMENT
Is there anything else you would like the UBC Department of OS&OT and/or the AFC to know about your
experience with the fieldwork placement process?
Thank you for your feedback, which we will use for quality improvement purposes.
And thank you for acting as a Fieldwork Educator or site for our Occupational Therapy
students.
Your participation is a vital part of the OT Program and we REALLY appreciate it!
*** Please email this form back to [email protected] ***
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